Cortana is much more than just a piece of voice software, bringing true personal assistance to a smartphone. The user interface is more intuitive than others and you can always find everything in the notebook. Cortana is not all business either and like Siri she has a bit of an attitude with personal interaction that makes Cortana enjoyable to use.
You can perform all of the traditional functions with Cortana, such as make phone calls, text people, add appointments, take notes, play music, get directions, check the weather, and much more. In addition there is location, time, and person awareness for reminders.
As you can see, Cortana is quite smart and the more you use her the better she gets. Make sure to visit the Microsoft Cortana website to see everything she can do for you. This is the kind of technology I always wanted where the phone works for you and makes things more efficient rather than more cumbersome.
I could probably put together a list of 60 things I like doing with Cortana, but let's just take a look at six things for now.
I am a TripIt Pro subscriber, but it sure is handy to have Cortana keep track and monitor my flights too. I don't know exactly where she gets the flight data from, but all I see is a prompt to ask me if she wants to monitor my flights so I assume my email is being monitored.
I enjoy playing and watching sports and love when my phone lets me know about upcoming games and the scores of those games. This is especially helpful for English Premier League football since I am so far removed from the timezone of when the games are being played. Cortana gives me the schedule and stats for my favorite team, including when I can watch it in local time.
I am terrible at knowing the names and artists of songs so I enjoy using Cortana to identify music on the radio. The great thing is that you can then tap on the identified song and go into Xbox Music to hear more from the artist. All of your music searches are also found in your Cortana notebook for later viewing.
I enjoy good jokes, but am terrible at ever remembering those I hear. Simply say to Cortana 'tell me a joke' and she will say them out loud to you. My family enjoys hearing these at the dinner table and the jokes are usually pretty witty and clean.
You can also ask Cortana to sing to you and she does so in a very human voice.
Other platforms support location-based reminders, but for some reason I have had the most success with Cortana. I am regularly given honey-do lists from my wife that include picking up supplies from the local hardware store and I usually forget something or can't remember to write it down in the first place.
I was blown away when I entered the Lowe's parking lot and a list popped up on my phone with everything I needed to pick up.
Do you ever tell yourself that you have to discuss something with someone the next time you talk with them on the phone? With Cortana you can set a person-specific reminder so that when you call that person in the future a reminder pops up with the subject of what you wanted to talk with them about.